QSFer R.L. Merrill has a new MM paranormal/horror romance out: “A Peculiar Prom Night.”
Four sexually frustrated chaperones
Three hapless kids caught vaping in the bathrooms
Two heated kisses
One ghost ship on the San Francisco Bay turns this joyous celebration into one helluva creepy night…
Meet siblings Ramona and Ruben, veteran teachers at Baymont High School. They’ve been chaperoning proms for years, but tonight they’ll need all of their faculties to protect their students from beings who may or may not have evil intentions. Oh, and manage to keep their family’s secret while attempting to get closer to their respective love interests. No problem, right?
Just act cool, Gilman.
“Oh, good. Thank you for coming, sir. I wondered if you might have the exclusion list handy?” He was such a liar. He knew the boys in question had gone through the appeals process to be allowed to attend. He just wanted to see Victor. Wanted to be seen by him. And the only way he knew how to do that was to annoy the shit out of his administrator.
“Mr. Gilman, I assure you that no one is getting in that shouldn’t be here. Perhaps you should stick to your purview.”
“You mean being best dressed? Thank you, I appreciate your compliment.” Ruben straightened his boutonniere and bow tie.
Victor’s face paled noticeably as he gazed at Ruben’s throat and he redirected his wide-eyed gaze to the line of kids entering. “I’d better go check on the security around the perimeter. Remember,” he said, clearing his throat. “The students may only go outside in the back to the patio overlooking the water. No ins or outs through these doors.”
Ruben grinned. “Sure thing.”
Victor paused before walking away to frown at Ruben.
So Ruben gave him a finger wave.
Ramona pinched his side, an annoying habit of hers since they’d been kids and she took her role of elder sibling way too seriously, just like she did much of life.
“You better watch yourself,” she said before walking back to her check-in table.
Yeah, Ruben didn’t do that well. His long string of breakups and humiliations were evidence of his shortcomings. He didn’t need his sister to remind him. The smile he kept on his face was his armor, his jokes his weapons, all necessary to protect his feelings.
So he had a crush on Victor Villarreal, what of it? The guy had tormented him for the first two years they’d worked together, making his life so difficult at times he’d even considered giving up and moving to another school site. If he couldn’t do his beloved job the way he thought best, perhaps it was time for him to move on. He’d been at the game for eighteen years and while he believed in their district’s motto of life-long learning, he didn’t feel like a school with Victor the Conqueror at the helm was the right place for him.
But then he’d been forced to make a home visit with Victor for a kid who had run away repeatedly. The district’s social worker was unavailable, and Victor needed another staff member to go with him. With Ruben’s flexible schedule, he’d been stuck going.
Not stuck, he enjoyed being able to work with kids that were struggling. He not only taught the Leadership program as part of his Activities Director duties, but he’d also set up a mentoring program for the school, which involved an afterschool class for kids at-promise for a better life.
But what he’d discovered about Victor at that boy’s house had changed his view of the man—and his heart—forever.
A familiar face walked through the front doors of the Bay-side venue looking lost.
“Here come the judge, here come the judge,” Ruben started singing as he did a little dance across the foyer.
Matthew Pierce rolled his eyes, a common greeting from his long-time friend, and approached with a hand out.
“My derelict friend, how are you?” Matthew shook Ruben’s hand and then pulled him in for a bro hug.
“Devious as usual. Thanks for coming, man. We’ve had a bunch of people out with the flu this week, and I wanted to be sure we had enough coverage for tonight. Things always go smoother when there’s an abundance of adults around.”
“My pleasure. Now that the girls have both graduated, I am clear to participate. They would have died if their square dad showed up at a school function to chaperone. ‘It’s bad enough everyone knows you’re a judge, Dad. We don’t need you in our faces at school, too.’”
Ruben sucked in a breath. “Harsh. Well, they’re gone so you’re all mine now.” He hooked an arm around Matthew and walked him over to the check-in table. “We’ll get you signed in and over to your post. And hey, you remember my sister?”
Matthew paused in front of the table and smiled at Ramona in a way that sent Ruben’s brother radar working overtime.
Oh, this could be interesting.
“Sister mine, I have a chaperone here, reporting for duty.”
Ramona had her head down, perusing the lists of both students and chaperones. “Name?”
“The Honorable Matthew Pierce, it should say,” Ruben joked.
Ramona looked up and her eyes flared just the slightest bit. She stood and held out her hand, her smile just as suspect.
“Mr. Pierce, it’s nice to finally meet you in person.”
Matthew continued to grin at her in that crooked way Ruben recognized.
Ramona peeled off a label with his name on it and stuck it to the end of her finger to hand over to him. Matthew reached for it, but during the exchange, the label got stuck to her other finger and then folded and they both blushed as their hands were now stuck together by the label.
“Oops. I’m sorry. Here, let me get you another one,” Ramona said, ducking her head with a blush on her cheeks.
Ruben couldn’t help but be tickled to see his older sister having a reaction to a man, especially one who could also use some adult conversation and affection. Hmmm, this was an unplanned benefit to asking Matthew here tonight.
Ramona wrote out a name badge in her lovely script and then she handed the badge carefully to Matthew, taking care not to get it stuck this time. Then she noticed her line.
“It’s nice to see you, too, Ms. Gilman.”
Ruben had to drag his old friend away from the table.
“You do realize she’s my older sister and I should kick your ass for smiling at her like that.”
Matthew raised both eyebrows. “I didn’t smile at her like anything. She’s…She’s brilliant, Ruben. My girls couldn’t stop talking about how smart she was for years. Zoey is majoring in Poli Sci because of the esteemed Ms. Gilman. What happened to you, by the way?”
R.L. Merrill brings you stories of Hope, Love, and Rock ‘n’ Roll featuring quirky and relatable characters. Whether she’s writing about contemporary issues that affect us all or diving deep into the paranormal and supernatural to give readers a shiver, she loves creating compelling stories that will stay with readers long after.
Winner of the Kathryn Hayes “When Sparks Fly” Best Contemporary award for Hurricane Reese, Foreword INDIES finalist for Summer of Hush and RONE finalist for Typhoon Toby, Ro spends every spare moment improving her writing craft and striving to find that perfect balance between real-life and happily ever after.
She writes diverse and inclusive romance, contributes paranormal hilarity to Robyn Peterman’s Magic and Mayhem Universe, and works on various other writing and mentoring projects that tickle her fancy or benefit a worthy cause.
You can find her connecting with readers on social media, educating America’s youth, raising two brilliant teenagers, trying desperately to get that back piece finished in the tattoo chair, or headbanging at a rock show near her home in the San Francisco Bay Area! Stay Tuned for more Rock ‘n’ Romance.